“I love the rain. It’s my favorite weather.”

– Kristen Wiig

The local weather forecaster says it’s going to rain Monday. Why do I care? I’m not going anywhere on Monday. There is that tiny leak in the roof of the closet in the back of the house, but unless it’s a torrential downpour, the kind they have every June in Manila and Singapore that causes mud slides that kill thousands of people in the Philippines and China, I can’t worry.

But then there was that rain we had last week, which revealed the leak.

So then why do I and people like me get so obsessed with the weather? Define obsession.

Here’s what I watch:

Each evening I watch three weather reports, the early, mid-evening and the final one at 11:15 p.m. Okay, that’s probably a lot. Channel 6 starts first, then quickly I cut down to Channel 5, which follows a few seconds later, and then Channel 8, which is always behind. They basically give the same report, but one focuses on the south, the other floats around central Maine and the latter kind of covers Bangor and the north.

Why do I care if it’s going to rain in Bangor or Freeport? I think it’s because I have what I now call OWWD — obsessive weather watching disorder.

It’s one thing to be concerned with the weather in California, because I have family there, but Minot, North Dakota? Cuba? the Lesser Antilles? I don’t know anyone in the Lesser Antilles, do you? Where are the Greater Antilles anyway? Is that where the malls are? Is there a Starbucks in the Greater Antilles?

All the different stations have different weather people. This is very important. One station has a very cute spokesperson. I like her because when she first started, she was a little heavy. Now, she’s clearly lost about 15 lbs and is wearing less black and more flowered dresses and has even started wearing horizontal stripes.

I like this, because I’m on a new nutritional lifestyle, and I feel it’s important to applaud the healthy-weight folks who come into my living room via my television. It’s equally important because I have a very large screen, which makes large folks appear even larger. I was thinking that I should send her a note, but she who keeps all the note paper and stamps in her desk drawer thought it might appear as though I am stalking her.

One of the stations I watch has two men, an older personable fellow who laughs a lot and a younger spokesman who steps in when the older guy goes to play golf or bingo I guess. Young guy is very professional. He’s losing weight as well, and I have to say I applaud that. I won’t be sending him a note either.

But all of these weather people have a limited amount of time, and with the exception of the occasional mini-tornado or damaging winds over Skowhegan and Pittsfield, nothing much happens.

If you are like me, OWWD, and really want action, the Weather Channel is where you want to be, and they have the real heavy hitters when it comes to on-scene announcing, and in addition, some really talented and handsome on-camera personalities.

I love watching them trying to stand up in 187-mile-an hour winds, or standing knee deep in flood waters. It makes me feel all comfy in my jammies and slippers.

If you were glued to the screen following Katrina or Hurricane Sandy when it hit Jersey and New York, you are probably a fan of big Jim Cantore, on-camera meteorologist and storm tracker. Cantore is a big weight lifter guy with a terrific sense of style, and an encyclopedic knowledge of everything frightening and dangerous in weather. I sleep better knowing Jim is out there.

America’s favorite, the Today show’s Al Roker, is there, and the lovely Kait Parker and Maria Larosa. That may be a tad sexist, but it softens the guilt to have someone beautiful to listen to when you’re watching tornados take a house apart, or the Manhattan subway go under water.

Don’t get me wrong. Local weather is important if you’re planning a cookout or wedding, When you’ve had enough about the temperature on Mt. Washington or tomorrow’s heat at Mary Ellen’s camp, there is nothing like switching to Channel 33 and watching Kim Cunningham tell you if it’s raining in Taiwan.

A bit of guilt goes with that as well. What if they’re having a “Taste of Taiwan” tonight? Wouldn’t you feel really bad if the Taste of Taiwan got rained out, wouldn’t you?

Guilt comes with OWWD. It’s a Catholic thing.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.

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